8 Ways to Beat End-of-Year Stress

Smart Tutor Team
(…from the Smart Tutor team 🙂

Do end-of-year projects and holiday blues have you stressed out? December is known for bringing about various levels of stress in many people. Educators are no exception! For a change of pace, we thought we’d feature in this post some of the ways our staff deals with stress. While not of all us have to deal with a classroom full of students every day, when it comes to coping with stress, we thought we might be able to offer our own best practices.

A Change of Perspective

Gina, QA Manager

As QA manager, Gina is constantly reviewing other people’s work. “I usually have multiple projects that I need to finish up before the end of the year. This week I have several reading and math blog posts I’m working on, three math movies that I need to review and also a new section on our website that I need to design. Whenever I get stressed out about my long to-do lists, I try to remember a quote by Eckhart Tolle which says essentially that if you can neither enjoy nor bring acceptance to what you do – stop! It helps me keep things in perspective and brings a certain attitude to whatever I’m working on.”

Swiss Cheesing It

Dale, CEO

As the CEO and President of an independent software publishing company, Dale often has the herculean task of managing everything from negotiating contracts to attending conferences. “Whenever I have several big projects to tackle, I like to ‘swiss cheese it.’ I basically break them up into chunks and do a bit here and there. Picking at them this way and going after low-hanging fruit allows me to keep the big picture in mind while still accomplishing the many tasks at hand.”

Power Commute

Lina, Customer Support Specialist

“I like to use my half-hour commute home in a constructive way. I’ve found that listening to audiobooks is a great way for me to take my mind off the day’s stress. I use the local public library website to preorder audiobooks and then just pick them up once a week. I’m currently listening to “The Sleeping Doll” by Jeffery Deaver. It’s an interesting fiction story about a modern day single mom and single woman who’s a kinesics expert for the CBI but whose hobby is to travel with her children and pets finding songs.”

Raise your Heartbeat

Robin, Vice President

As Executive Vice President and Chief Mom of two young boys, Robin has her work cut out for her.  As head of sales, Robin is often on the road a lot, traveling from one meeting to the next.  “I like to start off my day by exercising. I find that exercising in the morning clears my head and starts the day off in a positive way. I also find that I have more energy on the days I do exercise – something that I really need as a mother of two very active boys!”

Escape to Other Worlds

Sally, Client Relations Specialist

“My favorite way to deal with stress is to take a break from it! I like to read books with adventure themes like the NUMA series by Clive Cussler. I also love to watch movies, both old and new, and have quite a collection that I’ve gathered over the years. I just watched “Freedom Writers,” for example, and was inspired all over again. Movies and books take me to another world and I forget about my worries – if only for a little while! :)”

Play Therapy

Hernan, Lead Programmer

Hernan often has to push the limits of Flash and Actionscript, which involves devising complex algorithms and writing hundreds of lines of code. His best method for relaxing? He spends quality time with his two little boys. “When I walk through the door in the evenings, I know my two boys will be waiting! I’ll take them for a run in the playground or a walk around the block. If the weather is too hot, we’ll build cars out of Legos. They love anything that moves, and by the time I’m done playing with them, I feel refreshed and relaxed!”

Get your Game On

Suki, VP Educational Technology

“I’m a bit of a geek and like to play games as a way to completely quiet the chatter in my head.  I’ll usually get my fix from playing a quick puzzle game on my phone. Trism and Fling are two of my favorites at the moment. I’ll play them for a few minutes at a time, get dinner going and then come back and play for another few minutes before I tackle the rest of the things on my to-do list. ”

Nature Trails

Denis, IT Director

Working with computers and networks means that Denis often spends more time staring at monitors than he does at Mother Nature. Which is why he tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors. “I live close to the beach so I like to swim in the evenings or bike on the boardwalk when I get home from work. There’s nothing like watching the sunset to have a great end to your day.”



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